The Importance of Regular Visits to the Dentist There are two parts to a routine dental visit: the cleaning and the check-up. During the dental check up, your dentist will check your overall oral health for any trouble areas. During the cleaning, your hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar buildup and may polish your teeth.
How often should you go to the Dentist? Have you ever wondered why Dentists recommend you come back every 6 months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. It is also important that in between those examinations, you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Your dentist/hygienist may even suggest more frequent visits if they feel you need the additional help. What to expect during your visit During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. They will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene between visits. There are several parts to the dental examination. For the head and neck examination, your dentist will usually examine your face, neck, lymph nodes and your lower jaw joints (TMJ's). Next they will assess your teeth and gums and check the overall state of your mouth. Many dentists will pay close attention to plaque and tartar because it can build up in a very short period of time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, certain beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease. They will also check for loose or broken teeth, any damaged fillings and any evidence of tooth decay. The dental cleaning During the cleaning part of the dental visit, your hygienist examines the cleanliness of your teeth and gums. They will then proceed to clean your mouth by removing any plaque and tartar, polishing your teeth, flossing between your teeth and reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques. Once your examination and cleaning are done, they’ll tell you about the health of your teeth and gums and then make any additional recommendations. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.